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Posts with tag 11-million-players

Activision-Blizzard September results reveals box sales paradigm

Activision-Blizzard released September quarter results yesterday. Most of the document is pretty dry and won't mean much to the majority of their devoted fans. They reaffirm the 11 million subscriber base of World of Warcraft and remind us that Guitar Hero's doing pretty well. Yeah, and they have an expansion coming up.

There is an interesting gem, however, to be found in their discussion of Wrath box sales:

"Revenues related to the sale of World of Warcraft boxed software, including the sale of expansion packs and other ancillary revenues will continue to be deferred and recognized ratably over the estimated customer life beginning upon activation of the software and delivery of the services."

That's a pretty packed statement. In summary, it means that the money Blizzard makes from selling the game box isn't immediately counted in their performance metrics at the time of sale. (There's no December "bump" to revenue directly from the 50ish dollars you pay for an expansion.)

Instead, they count the revenue gains throughout your customer lifetime. Doesn't sound like a big deal, does it? Let's talk about why that's such a significant notion.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft hits 11 million subscribers worldwide


Even in the middle of zombies, nerfs, and Death Knights, World of Warcraft has continued to grow. Blizzard announced today that World of Warcraft has achieved 11 million subscribers. To help with perspective, that's as many people as had been employed by the construction industry last year, or just slightly under the population of Greece.

When WoW hit 10 million back in January, Blizzard acknowledged how big the holiday season had been for them. Now consider that we're going into a new holiday season with a brand new expansion on the way. Even if other games are looking to get a piece of the action, we should expect Blizzard to keep steamrolling with their great success. Word of mouth from the recent zombie event might be exciting older players to return, and programs like Recruit-a-Friend will keep growing their active base.

We should expect to see the 12 million landmark sometime in 2009. WoW had hit 9 million subscribers back in July of 2007. Like we said, 10 million subscribers was reached in January of 2008. It took a little longer to grow from 10 to 11 than it did to get from 9 to 10, but if they keep up this rate, we should see the 12 million announcement around February or March.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

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